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A Comprehensive Guide to Liver Transplant in India

13 Mar, 2024

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India has become a leading destination for organ transplants, particularly liver transplants. The country’s advanced healthcare facilities, skilled doctors, and comparatively lower costs attract patients from all over the world, especially from our South Asian neighbours.  However, navigating the process of getting a liver transplant in India can be complex due to the various rules and regulations involved. This article is your comprehensive roadmap, guiding you through every twist and turn of the process, ensuring you’re well-equipped with the knowledge you need.


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Liver Transplant in India Cost


The cost of a liver transplant in India can vary based on several factors, including the type of surgery, the hospital, and the patient’s health condition. On average, the cost of a liver transplant in India ranges from INR 10 to 30 lakh . However, it’s important to note that this is an average number, and the actual cost of the operation can vary depending on many factors. The cost is comparatively lower than the cost of the same procedure in other developed countries such as the UK, Germany, and likes. 

The cost of a liver transplant in India can vary significantly depending on several factors, including:

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Hospital Type:


Government Hospitals:

Costs range between Rs. 20,00,000 and Rs. 25,50,000 (USD 24,154 to USD 30,693).

Offer significantly lower costs due to government funding.

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Private Hospitals:

Costs range between Rs. 18,00,000 and Rs. 35,00,000 (USD 21,762 to USD 42,019).

Offer advanced technology, experienced surgeons, and personalized care, but at higher costs.


Type of Transplant:


Living donor liver transplant:

Typically costs less than deceased donor transplants.

Deceased donor liver transplant:

Requires additional organ procurement fees, increasing the overall cost.


Liver Transplant in India Success Rate

The success rate of liver transplants in India is remarkably high. On average, the liver transplant success rate is almost 95% in India, i.e., out of 100 liver transplants performed, 95 patients recover successfully and live a healthy life. Generally, people return to their normal life within 3-6 months of surgery. The survival rate of liver transplant patients is 86% after one year and 78% after three years of treatment. Moreover, the long-term success rate of the procedure is also very high. You can expect a 65-70% chance of survival post 15-20 years of the transplant. However, no surgical procedure is immune to risks. This procedure has a 3-5% risk to life.


Liver transplant success rates in India have been steadily improving over the years. Here's a breakdown:


Overall Success Rates:


One-year survival rate: 85-90%

Five-year survival rate: 70-75%

Ten-year survival rate: 60-65%


The Factors that Determine the  Success Rates:


  • Hospital type: Government hospitals may have slightly lower success rates than private hospitals due to resource limitations.

  • Surgeon's experience: Experienced surgeons tend to have higher success rates.

  • Type of transplant: Living donor transplants generally have higher success rates than deceased donor transplants.

  • Patient's health: The patient's overall health and underlying medical conditions can impact success rates.


  • Factors Contributing to High Success Rates:


    • Increased awareness and early diagnosis of liver diseases: Early detection allows for timely intervention and improves transplant outcomes.

  • Improved surgical techniques: Advancements in surgical techniques have led to better graft survival and reduced complications.

  • Availability of skilled surgeons and healthcare professionals: India has a growing pool of experienced liver transplant surgeons and trained healthcare professionals.

  • Advanced medical infrastructure: Many hospitals in India are now equipped with modern technologies and facilities for liver transplant procedures.

  • Comparison with International Rates:


    India: 85-90% (one-year survival rate)

    USA: 90-95% (one-year survival rate)

    Europe: 85-90% (one-year survival rate)


    How to Register for Liver Transplant in India

    Liver transplantation is a complex procedure that requires careful planning and preparation. In India, the process of registering for a liver transplant involves several steps


    The first step in the process is a thorough medical evaluation. This involves a series of tests and consultations to determine if the patient is a suitable candidate for a liver transplant. The evaluation includes blood tests, imaging studies, and consultations with healthcare professionals like hepatologists, liver transplant surgeons, and psychologists.


    Once the patient is found suitable for transplantation, potential donors in the family are tested accordingly. If no one in the family is suitable for transplant surgery, the patient is registered on the waiting list for deceased liver transplantation


    Patients can register for a liver transplant in India through the organ donation website under the Department of Health & Family Welfare. They can also approach any Government Medical College for registration. Besides this, patients can also register with the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO).


    After registration, the patient is placed on a waiting list for a liver transplant. The waiting time can vary depending on the availability of suitable donors.






    Legal Procedures for Liver Transplant in India


    Organ transplantation in India is governed by the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994, which has strict rules in place for preventing organ trafficking and exploitation. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has recently introduced several changes to the National Organ Transplantation Guidelines.


    The changes include the removal of the age limit for organ transplant recipients, the elimination of the requirement for patients to be domiciled in a specific state to register for an organ transplant, and the elimination of registration fees for organ transplant recipients.


    Under the previous guidelines established by the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO), patients over the age of 65 suffering from end-stage organ failure were prohibited from registering to receive the organ. This age limit has now been removed, as people are living longer and the demand for organ transplantation is increasing. This move is expected to make organ transplantation more accessible to a wider population.


    Furthermore, the ministry has removed the domicile requirement for registering as an organ recipient in a particular state, as part of the ‘One Nation, One Policy’ initiative. Now, patients can register to receive an organ transplant in any state of their choice and will also be able to undergo surgery there. This is expected to reduce the waiting time for organ transplantation and provide greater access to life-saving surgeries.


    It’s important to note that these legal procedures are subject to change, and it’s crucial to stay updated with the latest information from reliable sources.


    Liver Transplant in India in Hospital

    There are several hospitals in India that are known for their surgical expertise and high success rate in liver transplants. Some of the best ones include:


    Dr. Rela Institute & Medical Centre, Chennai: This institute has the expertise and state-of-the-art facilities to perform liver transplants in newborns and underweight babies. They have performed the first Pediatric Auxiliary Liver Transplant in Asia.


    BLK-Max Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi: This hospital has a high success rate and low complication rate for liver transplants. The department has a successful liver transplant program for adults and children with 700+ operations.


    Nanavati Superspeciality Hospital, Mumbai: Nanavati Hospital has a Center for Hepato-Pancreatic-Biliary Surgery & Liver Transplant as a dedicated unit providing comprehensive care to patients suffering from advanced liver disease or end-stage liver disease (ESLD).


    Apollo Hospitals, Greams Road, Chennai: The Apollo Institute of Liver Sciences at Apollo Hospital is a leading center in India for organ transplantation. This includes liver, kidney, and pancreas.


    Max Hospital Saket, Delhi: Max Super Specialty Hospital liver transplant center’s team of 200 members has been at the forefront of liver transplantation in India since 2001. They bring over 20 years of experience and have successfully performed 2600+ transplants.


    Conclusion


    While India continues to be a hub for liver transplants, the government is taking steps to ensure that the process is fair and transparent. It’s always recommended to consult with healthcare professionals and legal experts to navigate this complex process of liver transplant in India. Remember, these guidelines are subject to change, and it’s important to stay updated with the latest information from reliable sources and this is where the medical tourism platform such as healthtrip.com comes in. Healthtrip can be your one-stop solution, simplifying the entire planning process, connecting patients with top doctors, facilitating hospital choices, and managing visa, accommodations, and flight arrangements. By choosing healthtrip.com, international patients can streamline their medical journey, ensuring a smoother experience from initial consultation to post-surgery care.


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